Much of the praise and attention that Kia has received lately is credited to their vastly improved product lineup. Now, Kia’s little known motorsports division can share the spotlight after earning the company’s first racing victory at Saturday’s Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race in Alabama.
Drivers Michael Galati and Nic Jönsson drove the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup in the Street Tuner (ST) class, beating out a few Honda Civic Si’s, Mazdaspeed 3s and Volkswagen GTIs.
"Notching our first win with a large number of Kia team members and dealers cheering us on made the result even more memorable," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America.
The Kia Motorsports program, which was unveiled in November 2009, started as a team effort between the automaker and the Kinetic Group. They built the Forte Koup race cars and made their first entrance into the race world at the 2010 GRAND-AM KONI Sports Car Challenge.
“It's nearly unheard of for a second year racing program to stand on top of the podium, and today was a special day for Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports," said Jönsson. "It's even better that we were able to deliver our first win with so many Kia dealers and team members from the plant here, and this result would not have been possible without the tireless efforts and commitment from every member of our racing team.”
The race team will try their luck again at CTSCC on May 14 at Virginia International Raceway.
Sources: Kia Motors, Grand-Am Road Racing